Nick Kyrgios feels Roger Federer is still the GOAT as he almost has ‘a Michael Jordan status type thing’
He can see why some regard Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic as the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT), but for Nick Kyrgios that honour still belongs to Roger Federer.
For several years, many believed that Federer was well ahead of his two closest rivals, but with Nadal drawing level with him on 20 majors following his latest Roland Garros success and Djokovic also closing in, the GOAT debate remains one of the hottest topics.
Although Kyrgios can see why players feel it is Nadal or Djokovic, for him Federer is the greatest and he feels the Swiss has the same aura as basketball legend Michael Jordan.
“In my opinion, I’ve played all three of them, I think Andy Murray is right up there as well,” he told Courtside Huddle. “You look at Federer he’s the most dominant player of all time, but in this era it’s actually Rafa. It’s a debate you can have.
“A lot of players will tell you Rafa’s the GOAT, Novak’s the GOAT. But in my opinion, Federer is still [the GOAT]. I think he’s almost like a [Michael] Jordan status type thing. He was the guy that was so dominant on every kind of surface. I think the way he plays the game is something special.”
Kyrgios also paid tribute to Nadal after the Spaniard won a 13th French Open earlier in October.
The Australian hasn’t always been Nadal’s biggest fan as he called him “super salty” during an interview in 2019, but he describes him as “an absolute champion”.
“Unbelievable. I wasn’t surprised when I saw Rafa pretty much easing through the draw at the French Open,” he said. “That’s his backyard. He loves playing there. I think he’s lost two matches there in his entire career.
“Honestly, I don’t think we’re ever going to see anything like that again. Someone so dominant on one surface and he’s right there with the greatest of all time. You can argue he is the greatest.”
He added: “We had our differences when we played each other. We’re fiery, we’re competitors and are going to go after each other.
“But at the same time I am not going to take anything away from him . He’s an absolute champion and 20 Grand Slams is ridiculous and I don’t think we are ever going to see that again.”
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